The Legislative Yuan will continue its provisional session next week to deal with three non-controversial pieces of legislation on civil servant benefits, despite the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ decision to withdraw from the session. \nThe bills are proposed amendments to the Civil Service Employment Act (公務人員任用法), the Civil Servant Retirement Act (公務人員退休法) and the Civil Service Survivor Relief Act (公務人員撫卹法), according to officials from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus. \nThree other bills on the agenda — proposed amendments to the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act (災害防救法) and the National Health Insurance Act (全民健康保險法) and a draft law on farm village rejuvenation — will likely be shelved for further negotiations with the DPP, which has some issues with them, the KMT officials said. \nThe one-week session, scheduled to run through Wednesday next week, was set up mainly to review the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in China on Tuesday last week. The ruling and opposition parties, however, disagreed over how the deal should be screened. \nThe KMT-dominated legislature decided on Thursday to skip a committee review and submit the ECFA directly for a second reading, amid clashes among KMT and DPP legislators. \nThe DPP caucus, which insisted that the ECFA be sent to committee for a line-item review, decided yesterday to withdraw from the remainder of session in protest. This means that the DPP will not attend any meetings or take part in inter-party negotiations during the period. \nAlso yesterday, Department of Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) called on the legislators to pass the proposed amendment to the National Health Insurance Act in the special session to facilitate the implementation of second-generation National Health Insurance (NHI) in 2012.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on